Monday, March 10, 2008

Ka: Another Mind Blower from Cirque du Soleil

Eric and I headed to Vegas for the weekend (he had an unexpected meeting there so we decided to make it into a Birthday Extravaganza) Friday night we went to see Ka, the new Cirque Du Soleil show at the MGM Grand. It was absolutely extraordinary. The show reportedly cost more than 200 million dollars to stage and after watching, I could completely understand why. The huge pneumatic stage was the star of the show, floating, rotating and even turning completely vertical at one point to showcase a fight scene that read like a bird's eye view of a Kung Fu movie.

Eric and I have been lucky to see several Cirque shows before this one, and at each one I find myself stunned and overwhelmed by the sheer number of references; but also at the way they are woven together to create something totally new and timeless. When you go to a Cirque show, the whole production could be exceptionally old, and simultaneously radically new. This was no exception. The costuming and set design was nothing short of extraordinary. Skintight flesh colored bodysuits bedecked with thick black tribal tattoos and hand loomed loin cloths that looked like your Grandmother's macrame wall hangings. Or the Swarovski crystal studded trapeze artist's costumes glinting in the air above our heads like fireworks or stars as they twirled around each other. A giant flying machine that looked like a cross between a moth and a furry mammoth. The hero and heroine decked out in Japanese warrior regalia and white and red geisha makeup. The giant "death machine" that looked like something straight out of Leonardo Da Vinchi's notebooks.

This is one of the first Cirque shows to employ a story line and I really enjoyed that element. The narrative offered you a way to make sense of all the things you are taking in. Another incredible touch were the speakers built into the headrests of the chairs. The music was literally being piped right into your ears, and the effect was quite startling. All the music is performed live each night, which adds to the organic feeling of the whole experience; the performance will feel different on that night than it would on any other night.

One of the marketing books I've just finished reading; Chasing Cool, talks about how dramatically Cirque Du Soleil re-imagined the Circus and how their brand is now synonymous with a quality of experience that is head and shoulders above the rest. The shows are expensive, but with every one, you go in knowing you will be wowed. Ka was no exception.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...